New menu offerings in Asian Tea House and €500 for a Boogaloo Burger invention

Thu, Jan 27, 2011

I visited two city centre restaurants last week to see what changes they were making for their menu in 2011.

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What price for lunch in Galway?

Thu, Jan 20, 2011

Having recently been in a very busy pub in Navan that served an excellent chicken a la king with rice at lunchtime at a cost of €5, I decided to walk around Galway city centre and see if there was lunch available to compete with that level of price.

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Ali’s Fish Shop, Oranmore

Thu, Jan 13, 2011

During the last few days we heard the sad news about the Harvest Wine Shop in Oranmore and my heart goes out to all who worked there. I hope everyone will find a job in the near future. However, there was also some good news in Oranmore as a new fresh fish shop called Ali’s Fish Shop opened. Regular readers may remember I mentioned his other shop in Barna when it opened in 2010, Ali is obviously a courageous man and all I can say is “fair play to him”.

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New year, new name for Oscars

Thu, Jan 13, 2011

Another year to look forward to; I wonder if 2011 will be as eventful as 2010 at Oscars? In fact 2010 was a pretty good year in Galway despite the best efforts of the economic environment. The year got off to a great start for Oscars with our inclusion into the Bridgestone Guide’s Top 100 Restaurants in Ireland. It really is a great privilege to make it into the guide as the top 100 also includes restaurants in the north of the country.

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New Year’s resolutions for foodies

Thu, Jan 06, 2011

New Year’s resolutions are a bit like cooking a perfect soufflé, lots of thought and preparation go in to the making but the result is often less than hoped for. However, on the assumption that some good might come from said resolutions, then it is perhaps worth putting pen to paper. I am listing here some which might be worth consideration and also my fantasy resolutions for 2011.

• Get fussy about fish; by this I mean you should try to make fish a part of your main meal on at least two days a week. While deciding what fish to buy it is worth considering which fish are farmed and also which fish are being over-fished in our oceans. There is no longer a difficulty in finding fresh fish as Galway city and county has never had a more plentiful supply of fish shops and some excellent mobile fish trailers at country markets.

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Was 2010 good or bad for food and restaurants in Galway?

Thu, Dec 30, 2010

The answer to this question is like many other questions, it depends; it depends on which side of the counter you are. For consumers, I think it has been a good year, prices for most items are better than before and I don’t believe quality has suffered. For business owners, it has been tough; however most have survived and hopefully most will survive through 2011.

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Christmas presents for foodies and cakes for everyone

Thu, Dec 16, 2010

In the aftermath of the boom times, most people have all kinds of toys in the kitchen, many of which remain unused and perhaps even unopened. So many gadgets seem like a great idea at the time, but do you really need 50 cookbooks, or three different types of garlic crusher, or a beetroot slicer? The first thing to consider if buying such an item is, would I use this myself, and also to ask the shop it if can be returned after Christmas if the recipient wants to do so.

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Il Porcetto, Loughrea, and McCambridges Food & Wine Fare

Thu, Dec 02, 2010

There was an amazing sense of nostalgia as I had dinner in this relatively new restaurant on the main street in Loughrea. The building was originally a private house owned by the O’Loughlin family and on many, many, nights in the early seventies I practised all my best moves and chords as we played hits by people like Rory Gallagher, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and many more in what we thought was the best rock band on the planet. The band had the rather unusual name of Skab Law. How the neighbours put up with the deafening levels of guitars and drums is a credit to their tolerance.

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Café 8 and Galway West Wine Club

Thu, Nov 25, 2010

One of the nicest new buildings in Galway in recent years, if not the nicest, is the Galway City Museum at the Spanish Arch. However I wonder how many of you have been there? The antiquities and cultural exhibits are, I am afraid, very scant although what is there is very well presented. There is now one very good reason to visit the museum and that is for some interesting food and to relax in what is quite a special building. The building is beside the Spanish Arch and the main entrance faces the big open courtyard area. If you are in town with some members of your family during the Christmas period it would be a good place to arrange to meet, if people are left waiting then they can amuse themselves by looking at the items on exhibit, then go in to the café for some refuelling.

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Rare chocolate, great paté, and cooking on a stone

Thu, Nov 18, 2010

I had some great feedback about last week’s article, where I suggested that we support our local restaurants and food producers. The best commend I had was: “Use them or lose them.” I think that about sums it up and it is a great message to keep in the back of our minds when shopping generally.

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Treat yourself to a few nights out

Thu, Nov 11, 2010

I am sure many of you are sick to the teeth of the never ending doom and gloom that pervades our every working hour. On a positive note it would appear that we are saving like never before and, while I do realise there are some who are put to the pin of their collar to make ends meet, many are stashing away a few bob for whatever may lie ahead. We all need a boost every so often, so what I am suggesting is that you earmark some of the saving for eating out.

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Cheers, It’s NovemBeer

Thu, Nov 11, 2010

Cava Spanish restaurant and tapas bar on Dominick Street has christened this month ‘NovemBeer’ and is offering enticing beer and tapas promotions to whet your appetite.

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Number 8 bar and restaurant

Thu, Nov 04, 2010

For those who have not sampled the food here, it is a very easy place to find. Just drive along the Dock Road and it is the all glass-fronted building facing out to the boats. During the week when you look in there will be lots of couches to relax on and at the weekend you will see lots of dining tables and chairs. This does not mean that the food is only served at the weekend, the food is served seven days a week from 5pm, and during the week you can eat from the comfort of an easy chair.

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Evening blazers

Thu, Nov 04, 2010

Evening blazers are going to be everywhere this party season. You will certainly be able to wear the one you bought a couple of seasons back.

The great thing about tailored jackets is that they look good dressed up or dressed down, which means that you can wear them for work or for the evening.

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Notes for the season

Thu, Nov 04, 2010

Lisa Lane

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Some interesting new eateries in town

Thu, Oct 28, 2010

It is said that a recession can be a good time to start a business and there do seem to be several new food places opening up, restaurants, delis etc. Perhaps it is the lowering in rents, or the fact that we all have to eat, and any new food business that is keenly priced with good to excellent quality and service should do well. The following are a few that caught my eye.

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Change is good at the Townhouse Restaurant

Thu, Sep 30, 2010

The Townhouse Restaurant is located over the Townhouse Bar facing the Spanish Arch. It has had a couple of identity changes in the last year or two, and that normally does not bode well. However in this case I think they have come up with a formula that works, funky styling, the menu, food quality, and the prices. The décor is pretty hard to describe, but a cross between random retro and New York funky might be a rough guide. Where there was once the usual suspended spotlights, there is now a collection of every type of retro shade you could imagine and a really clever line of about 20 to 30 Heinz beans tins transformed into downlighters. The tables are definitely sixties and the unusual chairs are eyecatching and pleasantly comfortable. The music is similarly retro and well chosen.

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The Malt House Restaurant

Thu, Sep 23, 2010

The Malt House Restaurant has always had a great reputation for serving good food consistently over a great many years. Just over a year ago the restaurant transformed itself into a slightly different, less formal, dining room and focused on creating a menu using the very best of local ingredients. It even has very large pictures of some of its suppliers on the walls, which gives an indication of how seriously the company takes finding the best produce. I called in on a very wet Thursday at 7pm and there were quite a few tables filled with diners. It seems to attract a cross section of tourists, locals, and parties out for the night. While somewhat less formal than before, the service is as polished as ever, and throughout the night it was impressive to watch all the tables being looked after in an efficient, but not pushy, manner. Service is not something to be overlooked when choosing a restaurant for a night out. There is nothing worse than to have an otherwise good meal spoiled by poor service; however I think that recently the standard of service generally has improved in restaurants.

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Steak Steaks with plum sauce

Thu, Sep 23, 2010

A delicious recipe from www.bordbia.ie

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Dinner for a tenner

Thu, Sep 16, 2010

Everywhere you look there are deals to be had for eating out but Charlie Chan’s new menu in the Royal Villa in Oranmore must be the best value out there. His 12 most popular main courses with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or prawns cost €10 including rice, chips or fried noodles.

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